Sonder is a multifaceted venue designed to function like a traditional local pub whilst looking like a stylish inner-city bar. Situated in suburban Bentleigh, the brief was to create a meeting place that maximised appeal for the widest possible local audience.
Built to a tight budget, this design utilises the existing shell, matched with reclaimed finishes to build its aesthetic. The building was stripped to its raw state to reveal its textures and patina. This intended to portray authenticity through age, warmth and history.
For broad appeal, the interior is simultaneously dressed up and down and conceptually runs from inside to out, with subtle transitions designed to de-formalise it along the way. Discarded granite offcuts form a slick large bar top, hand painted PVC pipe light fittings glow throughout, and artist painted cushions offset plush velvet seat cushions. Recycled felt panels dress the hard surfaces, providing a warmth and softness and absorb the integrated sound system.
Inspired by the building’s original Egyptian revival façade, radiating lines, adorned with abstracted fern fronds, spread over head and illuminate the space. Once outside, these lines burst into firefly buds that litter the sky as the roof is lifted.
Aptly named Sonder, meaning ‘the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as ones own’ this venue offers a considered, comfortable and unassuming environment that welcomes all.Back to Projects